9 Tips for Choosing the Right Body Armor

November 17, 2022

The world continues to present itself as unpredictable. It doesn’t take a renowned philosopher to understand that the world around us is chaotic. However, it’s important to recognize that chaos walks hand-in-hand with danger.

If you’ve paid attention to the news, you’ve seen that the number of active shooting incidents is on the rise. This is why many gun owners choose to carry concealed weapons. But active shooter scenarios aren’t the only threats you could encounter.

There are also home invasions, riots, and other things that can put you and your family at risk. Body armor is a vital piece of equipment you shouldn’t be without. One day, it could end up saving your life.

The only question is, how do you find the best body armor for your needs?

We’re here to help. Keep reading for nine tips on how to make the right decision.

Assess Your Needs

When choosing body armor, it’s imperative to determine how much protection you need. The National Institue of Justice (NIJ) has five different levels of protection:

  • II
  • IIIA
  • III
  • III+
  • IV

The higher the body armor level, the more protection it offers. Lower levels are protective against smaller handgun rounds and lower velocity bullets. Higher levels are protective against high-caliber rifles and other large rounds.

However, higher body armor levels also mean bulkier vests. More protection translates to more weight and less mobility.

Ask for Recommendations

If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, ask people who have experience with the different types of body armor available on the market. Ask people you know with a background in:

  • Military
  • Law enforcement
  • Corrections
  • Security

These types of professionals should be able to provide you with the insight you need to make the right choice. Find out what the best body armor is in their opinion and compare it to the other answers you receive.

Verify the Quality and Performance of the Body Armor

When investing in something as important as point-blank body armor, it’s vital to verify the quality of your investment. We recommend buying NIJ-certified body armor. This armor is the standard for law enforcement professionals and corrections officers through the National Institute of Justice.

The last thing you want is to buy a body armor vest that won’t protect you in an emergency situation. In other words, purchasing a non-certified vest could cost you your life.

Read Product Reviews

If you’ve never worn full body armor before or are looking into a new style, reading customer reviews is a great way to learn more about the product. Find out what other military, law enforcement professionals, and civilians think of the body armor you’re considering buying.

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These reviews should include things like:

  • Protection
  • Performance
  • Comfort levels
  • Mobility
  • Durability
  • Overall quality

We also recommend paying attention to the seller’s reviews. Make sure you’re buying from a seller that provides a high level of customer service.

If you buy from a seller with many negative reviews, you’re unlikely to have a good experience. This includes everything from communication and shipping to returns.

Verify Website Security

Website security is a major factor of consideration when purchasing body armor online. Before entering any personal or financial information into a website, make sure the site is completely safe and secure.

Key indicators to look for include:

  • A shield symbol in the address bar
  • A padlock symbol in the address bar
  • HTTPS preceding the website address

You can also run the website through a site security checker. All you have to do is copy and paste the address into the website scanner.

Additionally, pay attention to red flags that the website might not be legitimate. For example, if the website is full of spelling and grammatical errors, it might not be on the up and up. Sales prices that are too good to be true are another indication of a bogus website.

Design and Function

As noted earlier, there are multiple body armor levels, each with pros and cons. The question you need to answer is what you want to use your body armor for.

If you plan to be on the move and climb over obstacles, you’ll want something with less weight and more mobility. If you prefer to hunker down and hold your ground, something with more protection might be better.

Furthermore, consider the design of the body armor vest. The most tactical vests come with Molle attachment straps on which you can mount:

  • Knives
  • Magazine pouches
  • Radios
  • Mace
  • Medkits
  • And other tools and equipment

The best body armor for you will be the one that will accommodate all of your needs.

Think About Size, Weight, and Fit

Body armor is not a one-size-fits-all piece of equipment. Before investing in a vest, conduct some research to identify the right size of body armor for you based on your height and weight.

A vest that’s too big will be bulky and cumbersome. It won’t provide a tight and secure fit. A vest that’s too small will be too tight and won’t offer proper protection.

Additionally, consider your strength and fitness level. If you’re small in stature, investing in the heaviest vest with multiple body armor plates may not be a good idea.

Learn About Product Warranties

Whether you’re looking for full body armor or a light body armor vest, you deserve a reliable product. Before making any decisions, make sure the seller or manufacturer provides a product warranty.

What promises or guarantees does the product offer to ensure your safety and satisfaction. Do they guarantee the quality and performance of the body armor?

Shop Around for the Best Prices

Finally, once you’ve narrowed down your choices, you can do some price comparisons. Identify the most reliable online sellers who carry the types of body armor you want. Then, figure out which company offers the best prices.

Remember to keep shipping costs in mind, as well as the other factors listed in this article. Don’t buy cheap body armor from a seller to save money if they have a ton of negative reviews or refuse to accept returns.

Are You Looking for Body Armor?

Buying body armor is an important investment. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use it in a real-life scenario. However, if the worst happens, you’ll be happy you took the precaution.

Follow our guide to find the best body armor for your needs. And if you’re looking for more self-defense tips or consumer advice, you’re in the right place. Check out some of our other articles before you go to find everything you need.

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